The stage is set for a potential new round of battles between the EPA and the State of  Texas over the agencies new rules and their impact on the Texas energy market.    A new rule proposed Monday, June 2 by the Environmental Protection Agency had already prompted lobbyists to action from both sides of the coal industry and environmentalism debate. The new regulation proposed by the EPA would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by up to 30 percent by the year 2030.

At the present, existing power plants account for 38 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, making them the largest contributor to those emissions. A significant portion of those emissions come from older generation, coal-burning power plants. This plan will place a cap on the emissions a plant is legally authorized to release.

The EPA will finish its proposal in mid-2015 and will then give individual states one year’s time to decide how they will implement the plan in their states. Individual states will have multiple options for how to reduce emissions, including upgrading power plants to make them more efficient, switching from coal-burning to natural gas-fueled plants, and promoting renewable energy outside the power plant, in the state at large.  This way, states will have flexibility to build an implementation plan that meets the state’s needs. However, if states fail to build their own effective plan for implementation, the EPA can impose a plan.



The Winter Vortex Slams Texas Power Grid

by admin on January 13, 2014

The Texas state power grid nearly went down completely last week due to a massive demand during the recent winter vortex. The cold temperatures hit the entire state, and many customers were clamoring for warmth. However, the increased demand caused two power stations to fail and a third nearly failed.

ERCOT, The Electric Reliability Council of  Texas, had to issue a level 2 energy warning, and rolling blackouts were narrowly avoided across the state. While the low temperatures on the first day of the winter vortex were not records, they were cold enough to stress the Texas power grid so much that power had to be imported from the Eastern and Mexican power grids.

As prices of one megawatt-hour rose above $5000, the state realized that it was no adequately-prepared for the cold temperatures. Power needs are usually highest in the winter, but now ERCOT is asking homeowners to keep their thermostats at 68 degrees in order to conserve energy.


Electric Grid in Texas Becoming Greener Pre-EPA Crackdown

September 25, 2013

A recent analysis by the Dallas Morning News has shown that as Texas’ energy supply moves closer towards President Obama’s goals on pollution and energy efficiency, opposition has been displayed by the state’s top elected officials. This has caused many companies to already initiate a green and clean policy. In 2012 nearly 60 percent of […]

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DOE: Climate Change Makes Grid Resilience More Critical

August 13, 2013

  A new report released by the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) stresses the importance of power grid resilience in the face of increasingly volatile weather brought about by climate change. According to Electric Light & Power, the report, entitled “Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience […]

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More Capacity Concerns for Texas Electric Grid

June 27, 2013

Additions of electric power generation capacity are not keeping pace with Texas’ rising demand for electricity, particularly during peak-hours. A robust economy and population growth spurred the need for more electricity supply, according to the grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). ERCOT, the grid operator for most of Texas, warned that regulatory and […]

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4Change Energy – A New TXU-Branded Texas Electricity Provider

February 7, 2013

Energy Future Holdings, the troubled parent of Texas electricity provider TXU,  has rolled out a new brand in hopes of competing in the tough Texas electricity market without some of the baggage of the TXU brand. The new electric provider owned by TXU’s parent company is named 4Change Energy.  The cleaver name is an allusion […]

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Texas Electricity Predictions for 2013 and 2014

September 21, 2012

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reports an improved outlook for Texas electricity capacity for 2013 and 2014.  The agency responsible for maintaining the electricity grid in Texas has revised estimates of available capacity upward to account for newly announced projects to build to power plants.   The new numbers also take into account currently […]

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Texas Biomass Electricity Plant Goes On Line

July 18, 2012

Nacogdoches facility contributes to Austin Energy renewables goal ATLANTA, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Southern Company (NYSE:SO) announced today that the nation’s largest biomass plant is putting electricity on the grid in Texas. Southern Company President, Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Fanning joined state and local dignitaries today at the company’s Nacogdoches Generating Facility to […]

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Buffet’s Billion Dollar TXU Mistake

June 25, 2012

Think investing in energy markets is easy?  It’s not.  Just ask iconic billionaire Warren Buffet who recently apologized to his shareholders for the billions lost as a result of his company’s participation in the disastrous 2008 buyout of TXU, Texas’ largest electricity producer.  His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has written off over half of the $2 […]

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Cost of Electric Vehicle Compared to Gas Vehicle

May 24, 2012

One of the best reasons for buying an electric vehicle is all those gallons of $3 or $4 gas you won’t be paying for. There is a certain sense of freedom that comes with knowing you won’t have to be tied to the gas pump. And think of all the money you’ll save! Or maybe […]

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